The Manning family rivalry continues well past both Eli and Peyton’s retirement from football. Instead of the rivalry happening on an NFL field, the brothers hash it out on the pickleball court.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE Magazine, Eli shared that he has the upper hand on Peyton when it comes to dominating on the courts. “I think I’m a little bit better,” the retired New York Giants quarterback admitted. “I’ve just played a little bit more than he has, but he’s definitely in there.”
The younger Manning brother continued detailing the specifics of the pickleball games, explaining that he cherishes the little time he spends with Peyton so he wants to make the most of it through competition. And, what better way to compete than with a little brotherly rivalry?
“I don’t know if it’s the best pickleball being played, but it’s like us growing up playing basketball,” the former NFL player said, relating his current experience back to his childhood. “When you get close to 11, it gets tight and you have to win by two … Those last points don’t come easy!”
Eli Manning insists that ‘there’s going to be blood’ between him and his brother
“Someone’s laying out and there’s going to be some blood at some point,” Manning continued. “We got to create that same atmosphere.”
Despite the blood, sweat, and tears attitude, Eli insisted there are yet to be any serious injuries during their pickleball matches. “We had some good matches and no one left crying. Or at least I didn’t leave crying,” he relayed. “I’ve seen a few dives where you can maybe get your knee scraped up.”
With a growing trend in athletes putting money towards Major League Pickleball, Manning was asked if he has any desire to partake. Unfortunately, he does not envision this in his future. “I haven’t looked into the ownership part of it,” the football star communicated. “I just enjoy to play it and the social aspect of it.”
During his partnership with Lay’s and Subway to promote the return of the Dill Pickle Chips, the younger Manning brother announced that pickleball has been a prominent aspect of his retirement. “It seems like everyone is getting into pickleball these days – including me! After retirement, I played a lot of tennis and paddle tennis, and I’m continuing that paddle sports trend by becoming a recent convert to pickleball,” he said, according to USA Pickleball.
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